Why I love FlyLady and the FlyLady Cleaning Schedule (for someone who doesn’t clean)

If you’re anything like me, housecleaning is on the bottom of your list, if on your list at all. Like, there are so many more interesting things I’d rather be doing, like starting a new knitting or craft project, working on my writing, reading a good book, playing my computer game, watching an awesome TV show, going on a bike ride or hike or taking a catnap.

But I also want a clean house. It doesn’t have to be spotless, the lived-in look is fine, but I want it to be generally clean on a regular basis. I just don’t want to do it myself. And I don’t always have the income to hire a cleaning lady (even when I do, I can only pay for her to come once a month – what about the other 29 days?)

Why I Love FlyLady

Over the years of having, raising, and sometimes homeschooling four kids close in age, I’ve tried various cleaning ideas and methods. I’ve even done about half of the method from The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Maria Kundo. That one was fun but very intense – both in time and energy. And later I wished I hadn’t gotten rid of some specific things. But it was nice to do it as a one-time thing, purging a lot of my stuff and getting rid of most of my paper files and clutter.

For me, the FlyLady system has proven the best, the easiest and the most effective, even when I haven’t done it consistently. (By the way, FlyLady does not have an affiliate program and I’m not getting anything for this review – I just love it so much.)

Why does it work so well?

  • Marla Ciley, who started FlyLady, knows exactly our struggles with clutter, lack of motivation, distractedness, it-never-quite-gets-done mindset. She’s been through it and devised ingenious methods for getting the house decluttered and clean anyway. All while learning to love ourselves, to think more positively, to take care of all parts of ourselves and our families, etc.
  • The FlyLady system is built on learning one small habit at a time. You start with the simple task of shining your kitchen sink every morning. With FlyLady’s 31 Babysteps, anyone can learn these easy, daily habits, slowly building up a lifestyle of organization and cleaning which makes it seem as if your house is cleaning itself. These habits are easy, simple and quick to implement.
  • Marla understands behavior patterns, and her system sends you emails throughout the day to encourage, remind and enable you to succeed.
  • If you mess up, stop doing it for a while, or miss a few days, it’s no problem, you can just jump right back in (and forgive yourself while you’re at it).

What is the FlyLady Cleaning Schedule?

The FlyLady system is wonderful, but it can be a little overwhelming to understand, navigate and implement – not because her website doesn’t have all the information (it does, loads of info – everything you need), but because there are so many layers to her program that it’s hard to get the big picture of it all. I highly recommend a delightful novel written with the character implementing the program and changing her life through the process. This book is a keeper: Hidden Treasures by Paddi Newlin, found on Amazon.com. FlyLady also has a recommended book, which I haven’t yet read, called Sink Reflections by Marla Ciley (found on Amazon.com and on FlyLady’s FlyShop).Many readers have said that they like this, her original book, better than her more recent one, The C.H.A.O.S. Cure. From what I’ve rea, they’re both similar enough I would just get one.

For your reference, here is the Big Picture of the FlyLady Cleaning Schedule:

  1. Start with learning The 31 BabySteps. (Just this alone will transform your home and life.) This will be your first month.
  2. Once you finish the 31 BabySteps, jump into where everyone is in the daily emails. Add the Weekly Home Blessing Hour.
  3. Then add the Habit of the Month. I don’t know about you, but having checklists and goals like this is fun.
  4. Next, start tackling the Zones. The emails will instruct which zone you are in each week, and the specific tasks to do each day for that zone.
  5. Last, enjoy all the extras in the daily emails, including testimonials, “Afternoon Tea” live video sessions with FlyLady, the latest deals in her FlyShop, etc.

Note: FlyLady now has a new FlyLady Express option, where you can get her many daily emails sent in one concise email a day. This option costs $4.99/mo, however, because of the time it takes her to pull these together every day. But she firmly believes in her method of us getting emails throughout the day for reinforcement, encouragement and reminders. I find that when I’m actively doing the FlyLady system, the many emails don’t bother me too much – I simply read the ones that peak my interest, and delete the rest.

FlyLady Pairs Perfectly with Norwex

I’ll put a plug in here because I so strongly love these products, I became a consultant to get these awesome cleaning aids at a discount. Norwex has simple, green cleaning solutions for every part of your home and body. Their Envirocloth and body cloths are made with silver, so they do not get mildewy. When you rub it against itself, it kills 99% of all germs. This means you can actually clean your house with a Norwex Envirocloth and hot water – no need for toxic or any other cleaning agents.

Yes, you read that right. All you need is your Norwex Envirocloth and hot water. Talk about ease and simplicity, as well as being green for the Earth. I’ve found that the tight weave of the Envirocloth picks up and cleans my kitchen counters SO much better than my kitchen cloths I was using. This tightly-woven silver-infused cloth also works great as a Body Cloth, which exfoliates and cleans your skin and face, as well as removing makeup. Good-bye, make-up wipes!

Check out these incredible products here.

Helpful Links & Ideas for the FlyLady Cleaning Schedule

Because I like games and tactile motivators, I came up with a Mancala FlyLady BabySteps Game:

  1. Use a standard Mancala board, but have all different color stones (any kind of stone, real or glass, or beads, etc.)
  2. For each BabyStep, I choose a particular stone to represent that task; IE., I chose white for “Shine your kitchen sink” because my kitchen sink is white. Each day when I complete this new habit, I move that stone along in the mancala board. I do this with each of the 31 BabySteps as applicable (some of them are one-time tasks). I include the longer depression on the end of the board when moving the stones around the board.
  3. Each day I move a stone and remember what I’m supposed to do (Hot Spot for 2 mins; Check my Control Journal, etc.).
  4. It’s fun, and the idea is that by the time each stone starts collecting in the starting depression, it means I’m doing that task as a daily habit. The starting depression should fill up as I near the end of the 31 Babysteps. (And I can have a stone keep going around if I still need the reminder.)

Another Tip: FlyLady has you build (or you can buy) a Control Journal, your central notebook to organize your life and home. You can make it completely from scratch, but I fell in love with this Etsy shop’s PDF version of the FlyLady Control Journal Template. When I asked, she even made me a 31 BabyStep Checklist, too. Etsy.com is a great resource for your Control Journal.

Helpful Links for getting started with FlyLady:

If you want a clean house, but don’t like to clean, this is for you.

I’m only into the 31 BabySteps by about a week, but already my home is looking cleaner and more feng shui. Granted, I didn’t have a huge cluttered mess to begin with, and the FlyLady system works miracles for those starting out with such a challenge. In my house, having several small spaces decluttered and my house already a little cleaner is blessing me in so many ways, who would have thought?

Comment below if you have used and/or like the FlyLady system, and also comment below if you’d like me to get you a discount to Norwex products on my site. I will see what I can do for you. 🙂

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Learning Why We Eat the Way We Do – Personality Types

This post has more to do with my own health journey, which affects all parts of our lives, including writing. I’m a little overweight, though up into my 30s I was that skinny girl who could eat whatever she wanted whenever she wanted. Since then, I’ve tried so many diet plans, but with every one I find myself rebelling against it in a fairly short time – unless I had an outside motivator, like a professional modeling or acting gig coming up. I wear a woman’s size 14-16 but I used to always be a size 10, and would love to return to that, my perfect size for my 5’9″ frame.

The Enneagram

Some friends recently mentioned the Enneagram – I haven’t yet read it, but it’s a book and method of finding out your own spiritual personality type, if you will. There are several books on Amazon.com which teach the Enneagram, and I will be exploring that soon.

The Enneagram of Eating

Instead, I saw this version of the method and immediately put it on hold with my Libby app (an app to check out ebooks from your local library). I haven’t even finished it yet but I’m learning so much about myself, which explains why diets have never, ever worked for me.

Adventurer

The Enneagram lists nine personality types. When reading The Enneagram of Eating, I saw myself right away in Type Seven – the adventurer. This type (me) wants to experience new things, new tastes, new foods, new adventures – all with total freedom. That means no restrictions whatsoever, which translates to “diets will never work because every diet restricts you in some way or another.” In fact, my body now automatically goes into rebellion mode – anytime I try a new diet plan and set restrictions on my eating, my body then goes into overdrive craving the specific foods I’m not supposed to have. It’s like an obsession, it’s all I can think about, and eventually I end up giving in to it.

The Nine Eating Personality Types

Here is a brief overview of the Nine Types in The Enneagram of Eating:

  1. Type One: The Self-Righteous Sinner or the Selfless Saint
  2. Type Two: The Giving Gorger or the Humble Helper
  3. Type Three: Fast Food, Fast Life or the Chomping Champion
  4. Type Four: Moody Muncher or Creative Connoisseur
  5. Type Five: The Neglectful Nosher or Ruminating Relisher
  6. Type Six: The Fight-or-Flight Feaster or Courageous Culinarian
  7. Type Seven: The Gallivanting Gourmet or the Discerning Diner (what I call The Adventurer)
  8. Type Eight: The Binging Bully or the Forgiving Feaster
  9. Type Nine: Sluggish Scoffer or the Serene Health-Seeker

In the book author Ann Gadd goes through each type, and covers the underlying motivators (fear, shame, loneliness, etc.) which affect our eating habits in ways we’re probably not even aware of. She looks at each type’s primary Issue, Overview, likely Career Choices, Eating Triggers, How each type approaches eating and their own body image (including eating out and entertaining at home), each type’s food choices, what you may not see (behind the scenes in each personality type), how each type views their bodies, likely addictions, childhood contributors, and which diets and exercise programs will serve them best. Ann Gadd even includes how to motivate the various types (good to help your significant other – after fully understanding them), and what each level of the types look like – when they’re functioning in the most healthy manner, or on an average level (mixture of both healthy and unhealthy habits), and what they fall into when living unhealthy lifestyles.

Time to Change Your Own Habits in the Best Way for You

At first I resonated a lot with Type Four, until I read Type Seven, which is completely spot-on me. You may find you match with one or another of these until you find where you actually are. There’s also some overlap and some numbers in the special diagram affect each other in smaller detailed ways.

The good news – for Type Seven, the best advice Ann Gadd has is to slow down, every time I eat. Eating too fast (so I can get on to the next adventure right away) is my Number One Bad Habit. I always thought it was because I grew up with three brothers and I had to eat fast in order to get enough food, or that maybe I always ate fast because I’d get so hungry as a teen (with my fast metabolism). Now I see it’s more about my Enneagram eating personality type. Slowing down, learning to become mindful of my eating (no more eating while also reading, working or watching TV), actually sounds completely doable for me – though it will be a challenge. If this is all I have to really conquer in order to lose my excess weight, I’ll be a perfectly happy camper!

I had my right hip replaced six weeks ago (end of March, 2019), and I’m now finally allowed to start exercising again. I find that I have to move regularly to keep my mind sharp and my senses stimulated – it’s too easy to just sit at my desk with all the writing and researching I do every day. So it’s now back to my normal life – back to exercising and getting up to move more in my working day. (This is also why I love larping – it pushes my body to the extreme of moving).

I’ll be adding “Mindful Eating” to my daily task goals on my app, Streaks. If I can stick with this goal for a good length of time, hopefully I will see results! I’d like to lose forty pounds, but even losing that first ten makes such a huge difference in how I feel and look.

This book, The Enneagram of Eating, by Ann Gadd, is found on Amazon.com as well as at the library.

Please comment below on mindful eating, on eating personalities, if you’ve read the book, what type you are, and what its solution has done to help you become a more healthy you.

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